The idea of a Martian-centric storyline for Supergirl was exciting the moment I learned about the main plot of this episode, “The Martian Chronicles.” J’onn J’onzz has been pushed to the sidelines for far too long in season 2, and this episode finally gives him the episode he deserves. The real strength of “The Martian Chronicles,” though, is that it is not only a great J’onn episode, but nearly everyone from Supergirl‘s original team gets their moment. Okay, really, that just extends out to Alex and Kara, but the big focus on this trio makes this one of the better episodes of a pretty fantastic season 2.
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Hide the Martian
The set-up for the episode is pretty simple, and under normal circumstance it could be pretty boring. The White Martians are hunting M’gann, and the person leading the charge is his ex-husband (from an arranged marriage), Armek. The way Supergirl makes things interesting is that it uses the superpowers of the White Martians to tell a very personal, emotional and human story for our main characters.
Armek hunts M’gann down to DEO HQ. Armek attacks J’onn, where he goes to protect M’gann. The fight between J’onn and Armek is cool (and incredibly brutal), but the best part about it is how it ends. The lights flicker, and the White Martian disappears. Since all Martians can shapeshift into anyone and are able to read minds, that means that any character at HQ could secretly be Armek.
Supergirl spends an unfortunate amount of time trying to fake us into thinking Armek might be disguised as one of those no-name DEO guys who have a couple lines a season. Shortly, though, we get to the good stuff, which is Winn (or “Winn”) being revealed as Armek. This is really just an excuse for Jeremy Jordan to play evil, but it works. Winn might just barely be cresting over the five-foot mark, but he makes for a terrifying bad guy. It doesn’t last long as Armek/Winn escapes Kara trying to fight him, but that just reignites the delicious paranoia.
Love in a Dangerous Space Time
The gang splits up. Kara and Alex looking for Armek, while J’onn and M’Gann look for the real Winn. Supergirl really gets to the emotional meat of the premise in these scenes. The danger they are under finally makes M’Gann and J’onn talk about their very real feelings for one another. It is a long overdue scene, but Supergirl has done a good enough job on selling these two as severely emotionally stunted people, especially J’onn. David Harewood’s performance this season as Cyborg Superman has been iffy, but he continues to nail the quiet power, grace and unbelievably emotional pain that J’onn carries around with him. He is perfect in the role. When J’onn finally confesses to M’gann that he has feelings for her, the moment has weight, even if we’ve known about them for months.
Elsewhere, Kara and Alex are having one of their big heart-to-hearts. After rejecting Mon-El’s romantic advances, Kara is feeling alone. Kara’s feelings of loneliness get worse when, earlier in the episode, Alex decides to go to a Barenaked Ladies concert with Maggie and doesn’t spend time with Kara. While Alex’s musical tastes are highly suspect here and Kara’s feelings are understandable, Kara is also being a bit of a brat. To Kara’s credit, she admits to Alex that she is being bratty in their DEO conversation. It doesn’t change how she feels, however. Kara admits that seeing Alex happy makes her afraid that she will be alone forever. It’s one of the great Danvers sister scenes because it feels so very real. Unfortunately, Kara isn’t talking to Alex.
J’onn and M’Gann find the real Winn tied up, and just feet away from him is the real Alex. There are two Martians in the building, and the other one is impersonating Alex! J’onn radios Kara to tell her the news, and the Martian overhears. So we get a big helping of fake-Alex fighting her “sister.” As cool as evil Martian Winn was, evil Martian Alex is much better. Then again, Alex is better than pretty much everyone on this show, no matter which version we are discussing.
“The Martian Chronicles” devolves into the standard punching fest from this point. The show does manage to sneak some emotional beats into all the (impressive) CGI assisted action. These moments mainly involve M’gann wearing her Green Martian skin and fighting side-by-side with J’onn against her ex-husband. M’gann even kills her Armek to save J’onn’s life by putting a giant pipe through his head, which is the best declaration of love the show has probably ever done or will do.
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Everything Goes Back to Mon-El
The joint murder of Armek is about the happiest moment the two aliens have for the rest of the episode. After everyone survives the attack, M’gann makes a decision. She wants to go back to Mars and try to find other White Martians like herself. M’gann wants to save all the Green Martians left on Mars. This means that she has to leave J’onn just when their relationship is really beginning to start. M’gann will obviously be back at some time, but it is sad regardless.
On a much weirder note, Alex ends up popping up at Kara’s apartment after the big drama. Evidently, Alex remembers the heart-to-heart that the White Martian had with Kara, thanks to some BS telepathy nonsense. This becomes the impetus for Alex sharing what she thinks Kara’s real problem is about being alone. According to Alex, Kara is not being honest with how she feels about Mon-El. She really does like him.
I love Mon-El, but this has not been justified at all. Kara and Mon-El’s romance is an eventuality, but Supergirl needs to do way more work to make me believe that Kara feels the same way about him. This makes the ending scene particularly cringe-worthy. Kara goes to Mon-El to tell him how she feels, only to discover that he is now dating CatCo’s secretary, Miss Tessmacher. Kara, of course, doesn’t tell him. It’s rote, cliche and I honestly don’t even care.
What do you think? Are Kara’s feelings for Mon-El justified? Do you want to see them together? Are you sad by M’gann leaving? What do you think of Kara and Alex’s fight? Was Kara being a brat or should Alex have not gone to the concert at all? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)